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WPL 2024: Sobhana Asha's 5-22, superb death bowling help RCB to 2-run win over UP Warriorz

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Bengaluru, Feb 24 (IANS) Super death-over bowling by Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux after Sobhana Asha's 5-22 haul helped Royal Challengers Bangalore prevail over UP Warriorz by two runs in another last-ball thriller in the second match of the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2024 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

After restricting RCB to 157/6 thanks to a superb all-round effort by their bowling unit despite a blazing 62 by Richa Ghosh and a fine 53 by Sabbineni Meghana, UP Warriorz looked in cruise mode as they needed 15 runs from the last two overs. Deepti Sharma had pulled them closer to the line by hitting back-to-back boundaries on the first two deliveries of the 18th over bowled by Shreyanka Patil. She nailed another boundary off the fifth ball of the over as UP Wariorz scored 14 runs off the over and were looking good for victory.

The penultimate over bowled by RCB's Warsham pulled them back as despite being struck a boundary by Poonam Khemnar, whom she clean bowled off the next delivery for 14, she conceded five runs in the over.

But 11 off six deliveries was still gettable but Deepti Sharma and Sophie Ecclestone failed to take the Warriorz over the line in the over bowled by Molineux. Both the batters took a single each in the first two balls before Shreyanka dropped Deepti at mid-off. A dot ball later, UP needed nine off two balls. Deepti Sharma marched down the track to smack a boundary past deep mid-wicket but she could not hammer the final delivery to the boundary with five needed and RCB won the match by two runs as they could manage only 155/7 in 20 overs.

Sobhana Asha kept Royal Challengers in the hunt as she claimed three wickets in an eventful 17th over, sending back Shweta Sehrawat (31), Grace Harris (38) and Kiran Navgire (1) off the first, fourth and sixth delivery of the over to derail UP Warriorz's march towards victory. She had earlier claimed debutante Vrinda Dinesh (18) and Tahlia McGrath (22) in the ninth over to add to the Warriorz's woes after they had lost Alyssa Healy (5) early.

Shweta Sehrawat and Grace Harris had put the innings back on the rails with a 77-run partnership for the fourth wicket but the Warriorz eventually fell short.

Earlier, half-centuries by wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh (62) and Sabbhineni Meghana (53) helped Royal Challengers Bangalore Women post a competitive total of 157/6 in their 20 overs.

RCB made a poor start as they lost Sophie Devine (1) and skipper Smriti Mandhana (13) early to be reduced to 36 for two in the sixth over. Ellyse Perry departed for eight as they slipped to 54/3 before Meghana and Richa came together in a rescue act to take the score to 125, adding 71 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership. Meghana completed her half-century in 40 balls before she was eventually out for 53 off 44 deliveries, hitting seven boundaries and one six.

Richa Ghosh continued to build the innings and raced to her half-century off 31 balls, hitting 10 fours. She was eventually out for a blazing 62 off 37 balls (12x4) before being bowled out by spinner Deepti Sharma as RCB women reached 156/6 in 20 overs.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad claimed 2-24 for Up Warriorz while Grace Harris, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Ecclestone and Deepti Sharma got a wicket each.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore Women 157/6 in 20 overs (Sabbhineni Meghana 53, Richa Ghosh 62; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-24) beat UP Warriorz 155/7 in 20 overs (Grace Harris 38, Shweta Sehrawat 31; Sobhana Asha 5-22) by two runs.

--IANS

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